In my Facebook group (for Facebook advertisers spending £1000 or less each month) I commonly get asked why Facebook is rejecting their ads. It is probably the most common query I receive “Facebook has rejected my ad but I don’t know why, I can’t see any obvious reason why it wouldn’t pass”

Firstly, I always tell everyone to read the Facebook Advertising Policies because every time I have this conversation with someone, it is apparent that they are assuming that the policies are obvious, and therefore don’t actually need to read them!

The Obvious Rules

Some of the rules are fairly obvious. You probably don’t need to be an advertising expert to figure out that you cannot sell drugs, illegal activity, guns etc on your Ads. So before we get to the ‘Not-So-Obvious’ reasons why your ads are getting rejected, lets run through the obvious ones first.

  • Illegal products or services. No brainer really.
  • Tobacco products
  • Adult products or services
  • Adult Content
  • Payday loans
  • Discriminatory content (racism, sexism, homophobia etc)
  • Counterfeit documents (like fake Passports etc)

Hopefully, that list didn’t come as any surprise to you! The less obvious ones might though…

The Not-So-Obvious Rules

These are the rules that people tend not to have read and are surprised when I tell them that their ad has been disapproved because it does not meet Advertising Policy.

  • Unsafe Supplements – this is at Facebook’s discretion,  but any kind of performance enhancing supplements, steroids etc will more than likely get blocked by the approvals team
  • Third party Infringement – using a Trademarked brand name in your ad without ‘TM’ing it could get your ad rejected. Using images that are subject to Copyright where you don’t have permission to use the image could also cause you problems.
  • Personal Attributes – this is one that ads fail for all the time. They have targeted women who are maybe over a certain age, to promote their beauty services and have said something along the lines of “As an older lady, you feel self conscious about your skins ageing and want to turn back the clock” – This isn’t allowed. You are making assertions about someone’s personal attributes based on their age.
  • Misleading Content – any kind of Get Rich Quick, promises to make someone loads of money, telling people you will make them successful or beautiful. Basically anything you cannot prove you can achieve. Be careful business coaches and marketers!
  • Controversial Content – this is where people try and piggy back on a topical issue in the news in order to get attention based on being controversial. For example if you had a business selling toddler reins and used a recent incident of a child being killed who didn’t have any reins, in your ad – that would be controversial content.
  • Surveillance Equipment – FB doesn’t allow the advertisement of Spy Cams, hidden surveillance, phone tracker etc. So as much as you might want to buy a phone hacking device for your boyfriend or girlfriend’s phone, you won’t find it on Facebook! :D
  • Before and After Pictures – this one trips up a lot of beauty salons, personal trainers, dietitians etc who want to show the results of their work. You cannot promote Before and After pictures (presumably because they have no way of knowing if you just Photoshopped it) A workaround on this, is to put your before and after pics in the Comments section.
  • Your landing page sucks – Facebook checks your landing page and website too, so if your website is unsafe, poor quality or misleading in any way you could get rejected on that basis.
  • MLMs (Multi Level Marketers) – You guys aren’t allowed to recruit for other sellers to join your network. That’s Juice Plus, Tropic, Arbonne, Utility Warehouse etc.
  • Grammar – Poor grammar, too many Emojis or just generally an ad that looks spammy is likely to be rejected on the basis that it is poor quality
  • Profanity – this might seem obvious, but there are words you don’t consider to be profanity that Facebook does. For example a client of mine is called Half Baked but Facebook deems them as profanity. Who knows the rhyme and reason behind some of the decisions but don’t forget FB is a global platform – a word that has a certain meaning in your country, might not have the same meaning somewhere else!
  • Too much text – your image needs to have less than 20% text on it. Facebook has a tool for this – upload your image here and it will advise whether your image has too much text or not! Sometimes something in the background of your image can get picked up as text – like a sign or a poster on the wall, or a shop sign on the street etc so be sure to look closely!

There is also a whole load on Restricted Content too, (stuff that is allowed, but is subject to procuring written permission from FB or adhering to strict rules) These include lotteries, dating sites, Cryptocurrency, alcohol etc.

One of our Courses, specifically written for small business owners (on a small business budget!) might be able to help you gain the skills you need to create Ads that win and ace your marketing without hiring an agency!